Thursday, June 16, 2016

MISC. MANGA, *Mazinger

This particular color one-shot trade paperback is unique among other U.S. releases of manga as it is the first one made specifically for American readers by the original creator, Go Nagai. Mazinger Z is pretty much the template of all "super robot" Japanese titles from the early 70s, but this Mazinger graphic novel is a gritty remake of the genre, which becomes a whole different tale halfway through.

Set in the early 23rd Century, mankind is at war with each other, but this time with giant mechas. One of their ace robot pilots is Major Kabuto that operates the mighty Mazinger(which here looks like the robot that would eventually be used in Mazinkaiser). During a huge battle, a freak wormhole opens up and Kabuto along with Mazinger are sent to another world where giant lizard men called the Zard Empire are attacking the topless blonde Princess Krishna, who is of equal height to them. Kabuto fights off the rampaging reptiles, and Krishna offers to marry this supposed mysterious knight if she helps her kingdom, but Kuboto reveals that he's really shorter compared to her, and leads her army against the Zard. Just after he unleashes Mazinger's full power against the Zard wiping most of them out, Kabuto somehow sent back to Earth and finds a month has passed here as he reengages his own enemy.

Even though this was billed by the American publishers of First Comics as being a "all ages" title, there is some gratuitous nudity and action in it. It was printed as an album-sized comic specifically in English in 1988, so its probably not to hard to spot in the magazine section of a used book store. A lot of the elements Go Nagai made for this were later used in his Mazin Saga manga series that also became an early 90s video game. The comic has some spectacular visuals, and any fan of classic giant robots will totally dig it!

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